The Week In Review: Manufacturing

No Semicon Russia; Intel supplier awards; fingerprint sensors; self-driving cars.

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Fab tools
In response to SEMI members and partners, SEMI says it is not organizing Semicon Russia 2017, or any other events in Russia this year. “In light of the current market conditions and SEMI stakeholder concerns, SEMI reached out to members and customers over the last six months to assess how to provide the most value for our community in Russia,” said Laith Altimime, president of SEMI Europe, on a posting on SEMI’s site. “Based on this feedback, SEMI is not organizing a Semicon Russia for 2017 and is working with its Regional Advisory Boards to identify the programming for 2018 and beyond.”

Intel has released its annual supplier awards for 2016. The awards involve fab equipment, materials and packaging suppliers. Intel has three levels of supplier recognition: the Supplier Continuous Quality Improvement (SCQI) award; the Preferred Quality Supplier (PQS) award; and the Supplier Achievement Award (SAA). Applied Materials, Lam Research and others made the lists.

Applied Materials has announced Thomas J. Iannotti as chairman of the board, effective immediately. Iannotti succeeds Willem P. Roelandts, who has retired from the board. Iannotti joined Applied’s board in 2005.

Chipmakers
Mobile OEMs want fingerprint sensors in their systems. Capacitive sensors are incapable of sensing through metal and can only sense through 0.3mm of glass. In response, InvenSense has devised a technology that enables the use of thicker glass or metal materials without compromising biometric authentication performance. To enable this performance, InvenSense and GlobalFoundries are collaborating on an ultrasonic fingerprint imaging technology for InvenSense’s fingerprint touch sensor solution. The MEMS-based technology involves the production of aluminum nitride-based piezoelectric Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducers (pMUT).

United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) reported unaudited net sales for the month of February. Sales were up 26.77% year-over-year.

Packaging and test
National Instruments (NI) has formed a partnership with UT Austin’s Situation-Aware Vehicular Engineering Systems (SAVES) initiative. NI is supplying technology for an mmWave real-time testbed to accelerate research on automated and self-driving cars. This testbed will play a key role in advancing autonomous driving by focusing on topics related to ultra-low latency, new radar waveforms and data analytics.

Astronics, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Astronics Test Systems, announced a series of feature upgrades to its CTS-6000 Tactical Radio Series communications test set. With these new upgrades, the CTS-6000 tester is the world’s first portable unit available to test both analog and digital functions of the most widely deployed military tactical radios.

Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) reported its unaudited consolidated net revenues for February. Sales were up 28.2% year-over-year.

Market research
SEMI has updated its World Fab Forecast report, revealing that fab equipment spending is expected to reach an industry all-time record with more than $46 billion in 2017. The record is expected to be broken again in 2018, nearing the $50 billion mark.

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